A Sibling's Rivalry

Part IV

Katia N. Ruiz

Copyright 1997

Copyright Poem "Love Not Lost" By Katia Ruiz ã 1997

Copyright Poem "Almost lost you" By Erica Polanco ã1997



See Part 1

        `Love Not Lost...'

        And then something happened and we broke apart.

        Apart, but there was Love Not Lost.

        We still loved each other with abandon.

        We still needed, wanted, and loved each other with intensity.

        Love Not Lost, there was...


"I cannot believe you left her!" Richard exclaimed, an expression of bewilderment over his handsome features.

Frances looked at him, frowning. Richard could see the pain in her eyes, the bitterness, and her face was flushed. This was one of the numerous moments he wished his wife were there to make their daughter feel better, though he suspected this time it wouldn't be that way. Frances would never feel better without Katie at her side. It was as if Katie was a part of her, a part of her soul that was now missing.

"If she's going to believe that bastard brother of mine, then she does not deserve me begging her... Besides, I did nothing wrong, Papa." She whispered in a sudden gust of anger.

Richard frowned. He lowered his head, looking down at his lap. "I have nothing to say about Ross. I'm sure he had nothing to do with this. Syrah has been gone for more than three years." He said. Though he didn't say so, Richard somehow suspected that Ross was involved in the incident with Syrah, but he didn't know how.

Frances smiled sadly as Alcides, Flores' niece, brought William in. He had just taken a bath, Frances could tell. His light brown hair was wet and neatly brushed to the side. His clothes were nicely ironed. When he saw Frances, he smiled and pulled his hand free of Alcides' grasp, running towards her. "Di!" He exclaimed, jumping into her waiting arms. It was unmistakable that this child loved Frances unconditionally; she was a part of his life that he wouldn't be able to live without.

"Hi, Rug Rat." Frances said, lifting him up so that his feet were on her lap, giving him a tight hug. "Did you miss me?"

William nodded. "Where's Mommy?" He asked. He flopped down on her lap.

Frances looked at Richard and sighed. "Mama is home. She misses you." She whispered.

Like any normal toddler, William hadn't really heard what Frances said, struggling free of her hug and jumping to the floor. He ran out through the open door, Alcides following quickly. Richard and Frances laughed softly. Frances stopped laughing abruptly; she eased her head back against the back of the chair, closing her eyes tightly. Richard saw the tears gather under her lids, begin to slip out between them. "I do not know if I will be able to take being away from Katie." She whispered. She stood up and walked towards the window, then abruptly turned around. "I am going to take a bath." She said, walking out of the den. Richard was left brooding and grieving for these two women. If Frances made a decision, it was as well as setting it in stone.


KATIE still lay on her bed. The emptiness she felt threatened to envelop her. She didn't know how long it had been since Frances left. She lay curled into a ball, her knees pressing against her chest. "Frances." She whispered over and over. She never thought Frances would actually leave her. "I need you!" Tears spilled from her eyes. She thought about William, a sudden feeling of longing attacking her. She needed him at that moment, needed to nurture him like the sunshine that he was. Suddenly, she unfolded from the ball of loneliness she had become. She looked at the phone, picked it up with a shaking hand, and dialed DeValoi's number. Their maid picked up.

"Hello Flores." Katie said shakily.

"Ms. Katie? Are you okay?" Floors asked, worry in her voice. "You sound shaky."

"I'm okay." Katie whispered, her voice was hoarse from crying. "I want to know if Frances is there."

"Yes, Ms. Frances is here. She's upstairs taking a bath." Flores answered; her voice took on a tone of deeper concern. "Should I go get her?" She asked.

"Where is William?" Katie asked instead of answering Flores' question.

"William is in the playroom with Alcides." Flores replied.

"Okay, may I speak to Mr. Richard then?" Katie asked, her voice broke.

"Sure, Ms. Katie." Flores said. "Just one second."

A few seconds later Katie heard the line click. "Katie?" Richard's extremely concerned voice came on the line.

"Yes," Katie said. Suddenly, she began to sob.

There was another click on the line, signaling that Flores had hung up the other phone. "How do you feel, love?" Richard asked, sounding worried.

"Like shit!" Katie sobbed. "I can't believe she left me. Richard, what did I do wrong?"

Richard sighed; he opted for honesty. "You didn't trust her, dear." He said. "You were actually the first and only woman to whom she has given such commitment. She loves you like she never loved anybody and needs you to live. But she won't go back to you until you trust her."

"I don't know what to do!" Katie exclaimed. "I can't trust her. I try, but I can't. You know how she used to be, Papa, you know!" Her voice was full of tears.

"Katie, I cannot tell you what to do. I am only here to give you advice." Richard said softly. He felt a sudden pang of emotional pain. Katie was like his daughter, and he couldn't bear to hear her suffering.

"I want her back." Katie whispered.

"She won't go back to you unless you trust her." Richard said again. "She made that very clear."

Katie stayed quiet for a few seconds. "Can you please bring William to me?" She asked. "Right now I need his company. He reminds me so much of Frances."

"Gladly, Katie." Richard said. "I'll bring him in an hour or so. Are you going to be okay?"

"Yes." Katie replied. She sat up. "Call me before you head out here." She said.

"Sure." He replied. "Speak to you later."



ROSS quickly walked away from the door of his father's home office. He had been listening to his father's side of the conversation and realized that his plan worked better and quicker than he thought. He never thought Syrah would be so quick in seeking Frances out, but he should have suspected it would be that way; Syrah was so in love with Frances. There was a triumphant smile on his face. He quickly ran up to his room, relieved at not having encountered Frances on the way. He picked up his phone, quickly dialing Syrah's number.

"Hello?" Syrah said.

"Hello, Syrah." Ross greeted.

"Hi, Ross! How are you?" She sensed that she was about to find out something very interesting.

"I am fine." He replied. "I have good news for you."

"Really?" Syrah pretended to sound interested. "What is it?"

"Frances left Katie!" He said, a smile coming to his face. "She left her this morning. And she's here in my parent's house."

"Well, I'm going to have to give her a great visit." Syrah said, definitely interested now. Katie was a good riddance; Frances didn't need to get hurt any more. She thought. "I do not want it to seem suspicious, so I'm going down in a few nights. I'll tell you when I'll be going." She didn't want any one to think she had anything to do with the separation, even though she inadvertedly did have something to do with it. "Do you know what caused this?"

"No idea. It must have been bad because my sister was set on never going back to her again. You know that thing about her decisions. You know it was real bad when even the kid couldn't keep them together." Ross answered. "See you, then!" He said, hanging up without waiting for a response. He stood up from his bed and went into his bathroom.

He didn't expect things to go this fast, but some parts of his plans were going as he wanted them to go; add the fact that some of the things were happening on their own. Anyway, Syrah had unknowingly served him very well. He was going to go see Katie, but not that night; he was going to wait out as Syrah was going to. She could still be of a little more help to him.


KATIE picked William up from the floor as he threw his arms up for her. "Mamma!" He cried out as he jumped into her arms. He was just learning to speak and Mamma was still his preferred vocabulary word for Mommy.

"Hi, baby!" She said, holding him tightly. "Did you miss me?"

"Yeah." He said, nodding. "Di at gandpa's house." He spoke with surprising accuracy, though Katie had heard him speak like this many times. Still, every time he spoke clearly like that, it left her delighted.

"Yes, I know." Katie said, suddenly sad again. She put William down, gently taking off his coat. "William, did Di talk to you?"

"No." William said. He took a little toy car from his pocket, instantly distracted.

"Di gave you that?" Katie asked, aware of the pain she felt in her heart.

"Yeah." He answered. He turned away and ran into the living room.

Katie turned to look at Richard, who was coming up the steps, some of William's night bags in his hands. "Hello, Katie." Richard said.

"Hello Richard." Katie greeted, taking some of the bags from his hands. "Come in." She let him go inside, closing the door after him. She walked past the living room and into the kitchen, where William was on the floor playing with the car.

Richard stood in the living room waiting for Katie to join him. She brought William in with her. She motioned for him to sit down, and she sat with him. "Stay here, William." She said softly. Her attention went to Richard. "What did she say when you were bringing him back?" She asked softly.

Richard could see the love in her eyes, the pain, and the deep regret of saying all those words to hurt Frances, because she was hurting so much herself. "She didn't say a thing." Richard replied, sitting back and gazing at Katie thoughtfully. "She gave him a long hug, a kiss and the toy car he's playing with right now," After a long pause, he said: "She said that she'll come get him Friday early after work, to take him to the zoo."

"She's coming here?" Katie asked, smiling. The prospect of seeing Frances again was overwhelming. She hadn't seen her in only a day and already she was missing her immensely.

"If you want her back, why do not you ask her?" Richard suggested.

Katie frowned. "I think I will." She said, deep in thought. Tears came to her eyes. "I can't live without her. I love her too much."

"Good girl!" Richard said, taking her hand and squeezing it gently.



Katie opened the door to find Frances standing there. She was so gorgeous, standing there, wearing those off-white colored slacks with that off-white V-neck T-shirt and that black jean jacket; she looked so perfect in them. Katie thought she was going to faint, so weak with love and desire she was. "Hi." She whispered.

Frances smiled bitterly, not meeting her eyes. "Where is William?" She asked; she sounded distant. The truth was that she wanted to make love to Katie with an abandon that would leave them both hurting even more. By being distant, she figured she could be a little stronger in holding her conviction.

Katie looked into Frances' eyes; saw the unhidden pain there. "Come in." She said, forcing herself not to cry.

Frances shook her head, looking away. "It is going to be late. Sesame Plaza gets crowded." She explained.

Without a word, Katie turned away, her heart aching. She walked unsteadily down the hallway and found William sitting on the couch, miraculously waiting for her to go and get him. "Come on, baby. Di is here." She said, trying to sound light to his smart little ears. She knew he knew the difference in their home by now.

William jumped off the couch and ran towards the front door, Katie followed. Frances took William in her arms and hugged him gently. She turned away with him in her arms and walked down the steps. "I am not sure of what time I'll bring him in. I will call you to let you know, though." She said over her shoulder.

Katie quietly watched Frances put William into the child safety seat and get into the car. After Frances drove away, Katie once again felt all the pain of not having her in her arms. She closed the door and began to sob.


        Two Weeks Later

FRANCES glanced up from the law book resting on her lap, the one she was absently reading to find that Syrah was standing in front of her, smiling down at her with great tenderness. "Hello Syrah." She said, standing up and extending her hand. She seemed very composed and relaxed, but Syrah could still see the intense pain in her eyes.

Syrah took her hand and shook it slowly, remembering their smoothness when they touched her body. "Hello, Frances." She replied. She smiled up at her, her eyes moving uninhibitedly along Frances' body. She admired the beauty that she always possessed, no matter what she was wearing. At that moment, Frances was wearing loose sweat-pants and a tight white tank top, her slender feet bare, her hair loose down to her shoulders. Syrah's eyes ran the length of her body, her eyes resting on the muscles of her arms and shoulders.

Frances frowned. "How did you know I was here?" She asked huskily.

"I called your office and Lucy said so." Syrah lied. "Is this how polite you are? You do not even ask me to sit down?" She asked. She couldn't help but flirt with her.

"Sorry… take a seat." Frances said, sitting down. Syrah sat next to her on the love seat. Frances shifted uncertainly; she didn't know what to say.

"Where is your wife?" Syrah asked, putting her hand on Frances' muscled thigh and squeezing.

"I'm not with her anymore, obviously." Frances replied without expression in her face and voice. She looked into Syrah's eyes. "You left lipstick on my collar that day." She whispered softly, narrowing her eyes. "She saw it and we had a fight."

"Really?" Syrah said with wide, honest eyes; she didn't know about the lipstick. She suddenly felt very guilty. "I didn't do it on purpose."

"Sure you did not?" Frances inquired, arching her eyebrow. She was too weary to be angry, which made Syrah a lucky woman.

Syrah sat back on the seat. "You do not think I would stoop so low." She said, looking into Frances' eyes. She felt her passion for Frances resurface. After a long time of studying her, she whispered: "You are so beautiful."

Frances shifted uncomfortably, feeling a flicker of the old desire. "You.... are beautiful too." She whispered.

Syrah smiled. She caressed Frances soft face with the tips of her fingers. "Your skin was always so soft and tasty." She whispered, kissing Frances' cheek. "Why wont you kiss me?" She asked, softly blowing on Frances' ear.

Frances frowned, thinking again of Katie. She shivered as the breath caressed her skin, and looked down at Syrah and was astonished by what she saw. She saw Katie's face in Syrah, her smile, and her thick and tender full lips! She took Syrah's face in her hands and pulled her close. She still saw Katie's features, closing her eyes and bringing her face closer to Syrah's. Their lips met softly. Syrah slowly wrapped her arms around Frances' neck, pulling herself closer to her. They breathed deeply against one another. Frances sighed, holding Syrah's small form tightly. Suddenly, she pulled away. "I can not do this." She whispered, standing up.

Syrah stood with her. "Yes you can," She breathed. "You just did." She stood in front of Frances, who looked at her with despair. "Please, let's just give this a try... You are not cheating on anybody, remember."

Frances looked on. "Do you not understand that I love her?" She croaked.

Syrah sighed. "Yes I do." She replied softly. "But please let me help you try to forget her."

Frances looked down, her face sad, resigned. "We will probably never get back together." She muttered.

Syrah sighed again. She walked closer to Frances and again, wrapped her arms around her neck. She looked into Frances' eyes. "Poor baby, I wish I could be of a little more help to your heart." She whispered. She kissed Frances' lips again. Frances responded. She made an instant decision: When she was faithful, the only one she truly loved never believed in her. She was going back to the old ways. She was not going to stick to just one woman. The only things she would stick to would be her career and her son.

She pulled her lips away from Syrah. "Come with me." She whispered, pulling Syrah towards the stairs. They quickly went up the steps and into Frances' room.


IN the bedroom, Frances slowly removed Syrah's clothes; she softly kissed every spot that she bared. Syrah moaned into her ear; she pulled Frances' hair softly, she knew Frances loved this. Frances made her mind go blank. She thought of nothing but sex. The painful thought of Katie would drive her to insanity. She pushed Syrah back on the bed, quickly and savagely removing the rest of her clothes.


KATIE opened the door to find Ross standing with a bouquet of yellow roses. He smiled sheepishly. "I know this isn't the right time, but I thought I could let you know that I'm your friend and you can count on me no matter what." He said. He handed the roses to her.

Katie took the roses. "Thank you. Come in." She said. Ross followed her inside, closing the door. "Take a seat while I put these in water." She said, walking into the kitchen. She put the roses in water and left them on the counter. She went back into the living room, sat on the couch. She looked at him and smiled softly, gratefully.

Ross looked into her green eyes. "How do you feel?" He asked.

"I feel fine, I guess." Katie replied with a sigh. "Trying to move ahead. Thinking a lot."

Ross frowned. "Thinking about what, may I ask?" He asked.

"I want to ask Frances to come back to me." Katie replied, looking down at her lap.

Ross sat back, feigning a guilty, more like worried, expression. He sighed heavily.

Katie stared at him. "What's wrong?" She asked, feeling dread.

Ross sighed, he carefully moved to Katie's side, throwing an arm over her shoulders and looking deeper into her eyes. "Katie," He whispered. After a long pause, he said: "Syrah is at my house, with Frances." He saw the look of disbelief in her eyes. "They were going into my sister's room just as I was leaving."

Katie seemed to come out of her stupor. She shook her head. "I don't believe you." She whispered fiercely, almost angrily.

"Call the house if you want." Ross said. "Actually, I'll call. Your phone has speaker, right?" He asked.

Katie nodded. She stood up, gesturing for Ross to follow her. He followed her to the kitchen, where she almost slammed the speaker button. She watched as Ross dialed for his house. The kitchen was enveloped by the sound of the ringing phone. "Hello, DeValoi residence."

"Flores." Ross said, his eyes never left Katie's.

"Yes, Mr. Ross?" Floors replied.

"Is Syrah still there?" He asked.

"Yes, Mr. Ross."

He looked pointedly at Jewl. "Oh, so she's still visiting with my sister?" He asked.

Flores hesitated. "Yes, Mr. Ross."

"Is she in the living room?" He asked, looking down.

"No, do you wish to speak to her, Mr. Ross?" Flores asked, puzzled.

"No." Ross replied. He thought a few seconds, then he said: "Where is she, Flores?" His eyes returned to Katie, whose hands were shaking.

"She is in Ms. Frances' bedroom, Mr. Ross. She came to visit her a while ago." Flores replied.

Ross sighed. "Okay Flores, do not tell Frances I called. Okay?" He said.

"Okay, Mr. Ross." Flores said.

"Good bye." He said, hitting the hang-up button. He looked at Katie, who by then was crying into her hands. He walked up to her and took her into his arms. He smiled secretly.

"Why?" Katie sobbed. "Why is she doing this to me?" She pounded on Ross' chest. "Oh, God!" She gasped; more tears came to her eyes. After a long while, she suddenly stiffened. She stopped crying, pulling away from Ross. "Ross, I want to be by myself. I hope you understand." She whispered shakily.

Ross stepped back. "Are you sure?" He whispered. Katie nodded. "Okay, page me if you need anyone to talk to. Agreed?" He said. She nodded again. "See you later then." He walked out of the kitchen and out the front door, a triumphant smile on his face.

Katie waited. As soon as she heard the door slam shut, she began to cry. She walked towards the stairs, wiping at her tears. She went up to check on William, who was taking a nap. She walked to her bedroom and lay on the bed; she felt the tears spill out of her eyes and to the sides of her face. She cried as she did many times after Frances left.


FRANCES lay on her back; Syrah was lying with half of her body on top of her, her arm draped across Frances' chest. Frances stared at the ceiling quietly, holding back the tears that were threatening. Syrah had been looking up at her since they had finished their passionate encounter. Frances had been tender and passionate; Syrah suspected that it was only because she had been thinking about Katie all the time.

Syrah put her hand on Frances' beautiful face and caressed it. "Frances," She whispered. Frances looked down at her, her eyes were rimmed with unshed tears. "I understand how you feel," She continued softly. "But you have try to live with the pain."

Frances looked back up at the ceiling and closed her eyes tightly. Her heart and body ached for Katie. She felt like half a person, her other half seemingly torn away. Small convulsions shook her body as she cried. Tears escaped her eyes. Her sobs became audible, making Syrah feel like crying also. Syrah sat up, pulling Frances to herself. Frances complied, burying her head into Syrah's shoulder. "I love her so much!" She gasped. "I never loved anybody that way before! Never!"

Syrah felt her own tears spill out of her eyes. It had been years since she held her beloved Frances like this in her arms. "Oh, Frances," She soothed, caressing Frances' back. "Please, don't cry." She whispered, pulling Frances tighter to herself. "Please." She cried harder, her grip on Frances tightening.

After a while, Frances calmed down. Her depression still remained, but now she was sleeping in Syrah's arms. Syrah was awake, looking at Frances' face, stroking her hair softly. A great feeling of love and longing for Frances attacked her. She felt so guilty for Frances' pain, because she knew that she was at fault, because she left the lipstick on her shirt. As she slept, Frances' features were smooth, without the tears that were always there when she was awake. Her golden lashes rested against her fine cheeks, her full lips were soft and expressionless. A sudden feeling of love overwhelmed Syrah. "How could I ever stop loving you? Huh?" She whispered, more tears threatened. "How?"

Continued in part V

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